Alison Brod Got Her First Client in an Elevator, Doesn’t Own a Single Pair of Jeans
How did you get into PR? I met a guy on my fourth day in New York — who I’ve been married to for eighteen years — and he invited me as his date to a benefit for the fashion industry. It was for Si Newhouse. We literally had the worst table in the entire place. I saw this woman from a fashion agency and walked up to her and gave that typical speech — “I’ll sweep the floors, I’ll do anything!” I got a call the next morning at 8:30, and she said, “You’re hired.” I always thought that I just impressed her at this event, but I found out — literally maybe five years ago — that this woman said to my aunt, “How did your niece get to this big black-tie thing for Si Newhouse?” And my aunt said, “Oh, her family’s really close with Si Newhouse” — which was a complete lie.
So how did you break out on your own? This woman ended up hating me, because I didn’t know anything, so I went to go work for Restaurant Associates because I love restaurants, and then I went to go work for a small PR agency. Then I met a man in an elevator who lived in my building, and I overheard him — he was launching a new fragrance. I had just launched one for my agency so I said, “Who are you? Do you know who I am?” And he said, “No, kid, I really don’t. But why don’t you give me your card?” A week later he called and said, “I’ve been thinking about my conversation in the elevator, and I’ve realized my publicist never calls me back. Would you want to meet?” So we met at Four Seasons, and two hours later, he said, “If you want to start your own business, I’ll be your first client.” And it was the relaunch of the Burberry brand, mostly on the fragrance side. He gave me an office and an assistant. That was fifteen years ago. I was 25.